The Times reports this morning that hopes that the European Central Bank will join its Briti...
The Times reports this morning that hopes that the European Central Bank will join its British counterpart in cutting interest rates were growing last night, as economists digested yet more grim news from the eurozone.
Analysts said that it was increasingly likely that the ECB will bow to pressure for a cut after key figures yesterday showed that business confidence in the eurozone had plunged to a five-year low and German industrial orders had collapsed.
The FT writes that Royal & Sun Alliance, the UK-based composite insurer, on Thursday signalled that it might cut its full-year dividend to about 16p and would sell assets to raise surplus capital as it undershot expectations with a third-quarter operating loss.
The insurer, which had been linked to a possible £1bn ($1.46bn) rights issue, needs capital to fund expansion of its general insurance operations. RSA said it had identified measures to release £800m in capital during 2002 which would allow it to write an additional £2bn in premiums.
The Times says that Alistair Lennard, the manager of Unilever's £1 billion pension portfolio, operated a level of risk that was double that of other members of the fund management team, the High Court was told yesterday.
Jonathan Sumption, QC, for Unilever, was questioning Carol Galley, one of the founders of Mercury Asset Management (MAM), for the third day.
The troubled UK water industry suffered another blow yesterday, writes the Times, when ScottishPower conceded defeat in its attempt to find a buyer for its Southern Water subsidiary.
ScottishPower is believed to have been seeking at least £1.7 billion for the business, with possible buyers including Centrica, the British Gas group. But the company gave up hopes of finding a new owner for the business, which in common with other water suppliers, has been blighted by a tough regulatory regime on prices since 2000.
Never mind the Taleban, says the Times, the real enemy could be hiding behind the filing cabinet, according to an annual review by Control Risks Group (CRG), the international business risk consultancy.
Changes in the worker/company relationship — with employees growing cynical about job security, post-September 11 — have left companies at increasing risk from malicious damage and fraud.
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